Fibromyalgia: Getting the Right Doctors on your side

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Less than a decade back, many physicians didn’t know fibromyalgia as a actual state. But the tide appears to be changing. “In the United States, recent surveys suggest that the majority of physicians now believe fibromyalgia is a real medical condition and are comfortable making the diagnosis.

Fibromyalgia is often called an invisible disease. There’s no particular test to identify it, and it can be perplexing to a doctor who’s not well-known with the state. The symptoms overlap with many other illnesses, so it’s possible to be misdiagnosed.

Not each doctor understands fibromyalgia well yet it’s unsafe to find one who is up to date on the newest fibromyalgia treatment and study. Wherever you live, you’ll have to do some research to find a health care provider who is the best fit for you? Don’t be disheartened if you need to see little dissimilar doctors.

A specialist may be in a better position to understand what’s going on with you and create a treatment plan that eases your symptoms and helps you feel better. People who have fibromyalgia face more than just ruthless muscle pain, remorseless exhaustion, and distressed sleep. Because there currently are no diagnostic tests for fibromyalgia, many patients also struggle with misdiagnoses, unsympathetic physicians, and ineffective treatments.

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But with up to 4 percent of the population now said to be suffering from this condition, researchers are working hard to get a better handle on fibromyalgia and how to treat it. “Fibromyalgia has come a long way in gaining acceptance in the medical community now that we understand the mechanisms of this disease and have treatments proven to help.”

Finding the right doctor for you

If you think you may have fibromyalgia (or another chronic pain condition), it’s important to find the right doctor, patients have better health outcomes when they have a doctor they trust and who listens to their health concerns.  Further, patients who trust their doctors are more likely listen to their advice and be compliant with treatment. People with fibromyalgia typically see many doctors before receiving the diagnosis.

One cause for this may be that tenderness and exhaustion, the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, overlie with those of many other conditions. Therefore, doctors often have to rule out other potential causes of these symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. An additional cause is that there are at present no investigative laboratory tests for fibromyalgia; typical laboratory tests not succeed to disclose a physiologic cause for ache. Because there is no generally accepted, objective test for fibromyalgia, some doctors unfortunately may conclude a patient’s pain is not real, or they may tell the patient there is little they can do. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia isn’t a simple matter.

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. They may ask you to measure your pain on a scale. They may use what’s called a tender point test, which measures your sensitivity to pain by applying pressure to 18 specific sites throughout the body. You should make a meeting with your main care doctor if you’re facing any fibromyalgia symptoms. They should be able to rule out other conditions, diagnose the syndrome, and refer you to a rheumatologist with more expertise in diagnosing and treating the disorder.

The patient-clinician relationship has a small, but statistically significant effect on healthcare outcomes, if you think you might have fibromyalgia, you will need to work closely with your doctor to diagnose and treat it.  You want a doctor who is knowledgeable about fibromyalgia and treatment options, including medicinal and non-medicinal therapies.

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Not every doctor will fit the bill, however. If you’re sensibly certain your symptoms fall in line with fibromyalgia and you’re not receiving the support you require from your primary care doctor, it’s time to discover a doctor who better understands the condition. Because your treatment may involve more than one health care professional, you’ll also want a doctor who is well-versed in the complex world of fibromyalgia to oversee it all: medication, physical therapy, nutrition, acupuncture, sleeps management, and biofeedback, for example.

Traditionally, fibromyalgia falls under the scope of rheumatologists. But today, primary care doctors, podiatrists, osteopaths, psychiatrists, neurologists  plus nurse practitioners — are overseeing long-term fibromyalgia treatment. Pain clinics may treat fibromyalgia patients separately from pain management.  They also provide referrals to fibromyalgia specialists. Your insurance company may have a list of health care providers   covered by your policy that will also include doctors who treat fibromyalgia.

Someone you trust, such as a loved one or co-worker, may know a fibromyalgia doctor.  You may also find someone else who is living with fibromyalgia. If your physician isn’t taking your complaints sincerely and trying to help you, then you may require to see a different doctor or get a recommendation to a expert [like a rheumatologist] to make the diagnosis. Ideally, you would like to have one provider take care of you.

If you can’t get that, the next finest alternative is a treatment squad, a provider who manages your long-term fibromyalgia treatment, in addition therapists who deal with particular problems. Hospital websites offer directories of medical providers on their websites.  They share doctor resumes and expertise, which may include experience in treating fibromyalgia. Don’t lose hope. The pain and fibromyalgia fields are evolving very rapidly, and each month doctors know something new that helps them to take better care of fibromyalgia patients.

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5 Step to repair your relationship with your Doctor

References:

  • Do I Need a Fibromyalgia Specialist? via Web Md
  • Finding the Right Doctor to Treat Fibromyalgia By Lana Barhum, Columnist via Pain News Network

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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Things People with Chronic Pain wish their Doctor knows

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